I am astounded. Usually AiG simply refers to me as “the Professor” or “the atheist”, but in their latest screed they actually mention me by name…and they even spell it correctly! Of course, they get everything else wrong.
A well-known University of Minnesota-Morris professor who has a history of hate speech against creationists—especially Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum1—inadvertently admitted recently that we were not wrong. This was kind of a blessing in disguise and also reveals much about his character. Professor Paul (P.Z.) Myers said:
First, there is no moral law: the universe is a nasty, heartless place where most things wouldn’t mind killing you if you let them. No one is compelled to be nice; you or anyone could go on a murder spree, and all that is stopping you is your self-interest (it is very destructive to your personal bliss to knock down your social support system) and the self-interest of others, who would try to stop you. There is nothing ‘out there’ that imposes morality on you, other than local, temporary conditions, a lot of social enculturation, and probably a bit of genetic hardwiring that you’ve inherited from ancestors who lived under similar conditions.
Myers admits there is no morality or anying that imposes it either (i.e., God) in his worldview. This means that from his own worldview, there is no such thing as right and wrong. Accordingly, this means that there must be nothing wrong with teaching the truth of creation as revealed in the Bible. Ironically, perhaps, it also means that there is nothing wrong in showing the problems with false religions like humanism and evolution.
They still couldn’t bear to actually link to the article in question; here it is.
Their article still goes awry at the very first sentence. I am definitely not saying that they were not wrong, and there was nothing inadvertent about my post. Seriously, I don’t sneeze and a grammatically correct blog entry pops out accidentally, or something. I actually have to invest a microsecond or three in thinking.
It gets worse in the sentence right after they quote me. There is morality in my ‘worldview’; don’t confuse the fact that I state baldly that there is no external non-human intelligent agent that imposes morality on me with an absence of moral thought. I derive my sense of what is right and wrong from intrinsic properties such as empathy and other social impulses, and from acculturation in a stable, successful society that has expectations of parents to introduce their children to what constitutes reasonable behavior. I also derive it rationally from what I can see as a robust strategy for long term security and happiness within my culture — that is, robbing banks has a very poor long term return on the effort.
So, I do believe in right and wrong. It’s just not handed down from a magical sky-lawyer.
Oh, but wait…I just noticed. This isn’t a serious article from AiG, it’s a comedy routine. That phrase, “the truth of creation as revealed in the Bible”, should have tipped me off. There is no truth in the Bible!
Never mind, just laugh. Well, laugh weakly. It’s still not a very good routine, but at least the clowns at AiG are trying out some new material.